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Welding Procedure Specification:- Example

Weld Procedure Number

30 P1 TIG 01 Issue A
Qualifying Welding Procedure (WPAR) WP T17/A
Method Of
National Fabs Ltd
and Cleaning:
25 Lane End
Parent Metal
Parent Metal
Pipe Outside
Welding Process: Manual TIG
Joint Type:
Single Sided Butt Weld Welding Position:
Welding Progression:

Joint Design



2 And


Machine and
Grade 304L
Stainless Steel
3 to 8mm Wall
25 to 100mm
All Positions

Welding Sequences

Size Of Curren Voltage

Type Of
Wire Travel
Current/Polarit Feed
Speed Speed
1.2mm 70 - 90
1.6mm 80 - 140





Welding Consumables:Production Sequence

Type, Designation Trade Name: BS 2901 Part 2 : 308S92
Any Special Baking or Drying: No
1. Clean weld and 25mm
borders to bright metal
Gas Flux:
Argon 99.99% Purity
using approved solvent.
Gas Flow Rate - Shield:
8 - 12 LPM
2. Position items to be
- Backing:
welded ensuring good fit
up and apply purge

Welding Procedure Specification:- Example

Weld Procedure Number
30 P1 TIG 01 Issue A
Qualifying Welding Procedure (WPAR) WP T17/A
Method Of
National Fabs Ltd
and Cleaning:
25 Lane End
Parent Metal
Parent Metal
Pipe Outside
Welding Process: Manual TIG
Joint Type:
Single Sided Butt Weld Welding Position:
Welding Progression:

Joint Design



2 And


Machine and
Grade 304L
Stainless Steel
3 to 8mm Wall
25 to 100mm
All Positions

Welding Sequences

Size Of Curren Voltage

Type Of
Wire Travel
Current/Polarit Feed
Speed Speed
1.2mm 70 - 90
1.6mm 80 - 140





Welding Consumables:Production Sequence

Type, Designation Trade Name: BS 2901 Part 2 : 308S92
Any Special Baking or Drying: No
1. Clean weld and 25mm
borders to bright metal
Gas Flux:
Argon 99.99% Purity
using approved solvent.
Gas Flow Rate - Shield:
8 - 12 LPM
2. Position items to be
- Backing:
welded ensuring good fit
up and apply purge
Tungsten Electrode Type/ Size: 2% Thoriated 2.4mm Dia 3. Tack weld parts together
Details of Back
using TIG, tacks to at

Welding Procedure Specification Example

A WPS is a document that describes how welding is to be carried out in
production. They are recommended for all welding operations and many
application codes and standards make them mandatory
What information should they include?
Sufficient details to enable any competent person to apply the information and
produce a weld of acceptable quality. The amount of detail and level of
controls specified on a WPS is dependant on the application and criticality of
the joint to be welded.
For most applications the information required is generally similar to that
recorded on a Procedure Qualification Record (PQR) or Welding Procedure
Approval Record (WPAR), except that ranges are usually permitted on
thicknesses, diameters, welding current, materials, joint types etc.
If a WPS is used in conjunction with approved welding procedures then the
ranges stated should be in accordance with the approval ranges permitted by
the welding procedure.
However careful consideration should be given to the ranges specified to
ensure they are achievable, as the ranges given by welding procedure
standards do not always represent good welding practice. For example
welding positions permitted by the welding procedure standard may not be
achievable or practical for certain welding processes or consumables.
EN ISO 15609-1 (formally EN 288 Part 2) European Standard For
Welding Procedure Specifications
EN ISO 15609 Defines the contents of a Welding Procedure Specification in
the form of a list of information that should be recorded. For some
applications it may be necessary to supplement or reduce the list. For example
only in the case of a procedure requiring heat input control would there be a
necessity to quote travel speed or run-out length for manual processes.
ASME IX American Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
QW 250 Lists the variables for each welding process, all the variables stated
should be addressed. The range permitted by the WPS is dictated by the PQR
or PQRs used to qualify it.

Typical Items That Should Be Recorded On W.P.S:-

Common to all Processes

Procedure number

Process type

Consumable Size, Type and full Codification.

Consumable Baking Requirement if applicable

Parent material grade and spec.

Thickness range.

Plate or Pipe, Diameter range

Welding Position

Joint Fit Up, Preparation, Cleaning, Dimensions etc.

Backing Strip, Back Gouging information.

Pre-Heat (Min Temp and Method)

Interpass If Required (Maximum Temperature recorded )

Post Weld Heat Treatment. If Required (Time and Temp)

Welding Technique (weaving,max run width etc.)

Arc Energy Limits should be stated if impact tests are required or if the
material being welded is sensitive to heat input.



Welding current





Type of Welding current AC/DC Polarity





Arc voltage

If Auto



Pulse parameters (Pulse time and peak &

backgound current)

If Used

If Used



Specific To Welding Processes

Welding Speed If Mechanised



Interstitial infomation?

For more information on Mohrs Circle got to

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T Fillet Welds

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Welds Subject to both bending and shear

Next Page Menu Page

T Butt Weld Subject To Torsion

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Butt Weld With Offset

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Lap Joint Subject To Bending and Shear
This is a lap joint with an offset. I could not find a calculation for this in any
reference so I put this together. I have assumed that there will be a vertical
shear force caused by the offset load creating a moment about the mid point
between the welds (marked with the red dot), as well as a horizontal shear

Alternative approach it gives the same answer as my method. My thanks to

the person that sent this to me.
Next Page Menu Page

Calculating Volume Using Solids Of Revolution

Some Properties of plane areas




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Welding Certification, A Basic Guide

The requirement for weld procedures and the coding of welders is specified
in application standards such as:

BS 2971 Class 2 Arc Welding of Carbon Steel Pipework

{Gas Pressures

less than 17 barg}

BS 2633 Class 1 Arc Welding of Carbon Steel Pipework

BS 4677 Arc Welding Of Austenitic Steel Pipework.

BS 806 Boiler Pipe Work (Refers to BS 2971 and BS 2633)

PD 5500 Unfired Pressure Vessels (Formally BS5500)

BS 2790 Shell Boilers

BS 1113 Water Tube Boilers

BS 5169 Air Receivers

Application Standards
All the above application standards require welding procedures to EN ISO
15614 Part 1 (Formerly BSEN 288-3) and welders coded to BSEN 287 Part
1. Some applications of BS 2971 and BS 5169 permit welders to be
qualified without procedures to BS 4872, a less stringent standard.
The application standard may require tests in addition to those required by
welding standards, for example most UK boiler and pressure vessel codes
require all weld tensile tests for plate qualification above 10mm.
UK pressure systems regulations
Items that come under the UK pressure systems regulations must be
'properly designed and constructed so as to prevent danger', and items that
are repaired or modified should not give rise to danger. The Health and
Safety Executive Guidance Booklet to the regulations interprets this
statement as meaning the manufacture or repair of any item should be
carried out to suitable codes and recommends the use of British Standards
or other equivalent National Standards.
European Pressure Equipment Directive

For inspection category 2 and above all welding procedures and welder
qualifications have to be approved by a Notified Body (an Inspection
Authority Notified by a European member country under the Directive), or
a Third Party Organisation similarly approved under the Directive. All
qualifications approved by these organisations have to be accepted by all
parties for work carried out under the directive providing they are suitable
for the application and technically correct.
Welding Procedure Specifications
This is a simple instruction sheet giving details of how the weld is to be
performed, its purpose is to aid the planning and quality control of the
welding operation. EN ISO 15609 (formerly EN288 Part 2) specifies the
contents of such a specification in the form of a list of items that should be
recorded, however only relevant information need be specified, for example
only in the case of a procedure requiring heat input control would there be a
necessity to quote travel speed or run out length for manual processes.
A weld procedure specification may cover a range of thicknesses, diameters
and materials, but the range must be specified and be compatible with the
rest of the parameters on the document. I suggest that you produce a new
WPS for each type of joint and keep to the ranges of thickness and
diameters specified in the welding procedure standard.
Welding Procedures
Welding procedures are required when it is necessary to demonstrate that
your company has the ability to produce welds possessing the correct
mechanical and metallurgical properties.
A welding procedure must qualified in accordance with the requirements of
an appropriate welding procedure standard such as EN ISO 15614 Part 1 as
follows:1. Produce a welding procedure specification as stated above.

2. Weld a test piece in accordance with the requirements of your

specification. The joint set up, welding and visual examination of the
completed weld should be witnessed by an Inspection Body. The
details of the test such as the welding current, pre-heat etc., must be

recorded during the test.

3. Once the welding is complete the test piece must be subject to

destructive and non destructive examination such as radiography and

mechanical tests as defined by the welding procedure standard. This
work can be carried out in any laboratory but the Inspection Body
may require to witness the tests and view any radiographs.

4. If the test is successful you or the test body complete the appropriate

documents which the test bodies surveyor signs and endorses. The
necessary documents are as follows:E1 Welding Procedure Approval Test Certificate
This is the front sheet and only gives details of what the procedure can
be used for. i.e. its range of approval.
E2 Details Of Weld Test
This gives details of what actually took place during the test weld it is
similar to a WPS but should not include ranges of welding parameters.
E3 Test Results
Details of NDT and Mechanical testing Results
E4 Welder Approval Test Certificate.
This is the welder approval part of the qualification.
Note The E1, E2, E3, E4 designations are used by some Inspection
Authorities to refer to the individual forms. Examples of these forms are
given in annexes of EN ISO 15614 and EN287.
Forms E1, E2, E3 may be referred to as the WPAR (Welding Procedure
Approval Record) or WPQR (Weld Procedure Qualification Record).
In general a new welding procedure must be qualified for each of the
following changes subject to the individual requirements of the appropriate
standard used:-

Change in parent material type.

Change of welding process

The diameter range for pipe given by the welding standard is

exceeded. Typically 0.5xD to 2xD.

The thickness range is exceeded. Typically 0.5xt to 2xt.

Any other change required by the welding standard.

Welder Approval
Once the procedure is approved it is necessary to demonstrate that all your
welders working to it have the required knowledge and skill to put down a
clean sound weld. If the welder has satisfactorily completed the procedure
test then he is automatically approved but each additional welder must be
approved by completing an approval test to an appropriate standard such as
EN 287 part 1 as follows:Complete a weld test as stated in 2) above. The test should simulate
production conditions and the welding position should be the position
that the production welds are to be made in or one more severe
For maximum positional approval a pipe inclined at 45 degrees
(referred to as the 6G position) approves all positions except vertical
Test the completed weld in accordance with the relevant standard to
ensure that the weld is clean and fully fused.
For a butt weld this is normally a visual examination followed by
Once the test is completed the E4 form has to be completed by you or
the test body and signed by the test bodies surveyor.
Note The above changes that require a new welding procedure may
also apply to the welders approval, refer to the standard for precise
ASME 9 as far as the pressurised systems regulations are concerned can be
considered as equivalent to EN ISO 15614-1 /EN 287. However it may not
be contractually acceptable. The advantage in using ASME is that generally

fewer procedure tests are required particularly when welding pipework.

Welder Approval Without A procedure
BS 4872 is for the qualification of welders where a weld procedure is not
required either by the application standard that governs the quality of
production welds or by contractual agreement. Typically applied per
BS2971 for welding of boiler pipework less than 17 bar g and 200C.
Basically the same rules mentioned above for the welder approval apply.
Acceptance Standards
In general welds must show a neat workman like appearance. The root must
be fully fused along the entire length of the weld, the profile of the cap
should blend in smoothly with the parent material and the weld should be
significantly free from imperfections. Reference should be made to the
acceptance standard for precise details.
Its a good idear to ensure that you can achieve the appropriate standard
before you call in an Inspection Body. Penetration defects and lack of fusion
can often be easily detected by sectioning welds and bending them.
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Welding Qualification Sub Menu

Page last updated 21 March 2008

Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)

PQR's are not required if Standard Welding Procedures are used, see below for
This document contains details of the welding test, it must include details of
all the parameters listed as variables in tables QW250 to QW265 for each
process involved and all the destructive test results.
The relevant variables for each type of welding process are clearly defined in
tables QW250 to QW265. The left hand column of each table defines the
section and paragraph where each variable and its application to the table is
explained in the code.
Welding Variables

Variables used in a welding procedure test are divided into 3 categories :

Essential Variables Are variables that have a significant affect on the

mechanical properties of a joint. They must not be changed except
within the limits specified by this code. e.g. Material thickness range,
Material Group etc.

Non-Essential Variables Are variables that have no significant affect

on mechanical properties. They can be changed without re qualification
of the PQR.

Supplementary Variables Are variables that have an affect on the

impact properties of a joint. They are classed as Non-Essential if impact
testing is not required

All variables listed as essential, non-essential or supplementary should be

addressed on both the WPS and the PQR. If any of the variables do not apply
to the particular application then they should be specified as not applicable.
Joint Configuration
Either plate or pipe can be used for the test piece (plate approves pipe and vice
versa ref. QW211), any welding position approves all positions providing no
impact tests are required ref. tables QW250 to QW265 and any joint geometry
approves all geometry's, e.g. single V, double V, U prep, backed or unbacked.
A butt or groove weld approves branch and fillet welds but not the converse,
ref. QW202. Non pressure retaining fillet welds in pipe or plate can be tested
but they must be double sided if plate and at least the dimensions illustrated in
QW462.4a, ref. QW202.2c. Pressure retaining branch welds must be qualified
by groove (butt) welds.
Material Grouping
Materials are assigned P numbers in QW420; a test in one P number approves
all materials listed under that P number, except where impact tests are required
then approval is restricted to materials listed in the group number within the P
number. Other P number groupings are permissible ref. QW424.1 for details.
Ref QW 424.1 for further details.
It is normally permissible if the material is not listed in QW422 to assign it to
a P number which lists materials with the same metallurgical and mechanical
properties although this is not in strict conformance with the code. Typically
BS1501 151 430A low carbon steel could be regarded as P1 and stainless
steels such as 316, 304 as P8.

Note P5, 9 & 10 are divided into sub groups eg 5A,5B etc., Treat each sub
group like a separate P Number
Dissimilar materials are acceptable providing they are compatible. For
example P1 to P8, but this does not cover P1 to P1 or P8 to P8.
Note S numbers are for pipework to B31, a P number covers an S number but
not the converse
The ASME code uses its own specifications for consumables SFA. which is
almost identical to the AWS specification.
NOTE A change in consumable is only permissible providing it has the
same F number and A number (if applicable) as the P.Q.R..
Thickness Limits
Thickness limits Groove welds. See QW451 for precise details.

When Impact tests are required the minimum thickness approved is

restricted. See QW403.6

More than one PQR may be required to qualify dissimilar thickness

The thickness little 't' of deposited weld metal for each process involved is
approved from 0 to 2xt except:

MIG/MAG (GMAW/FCAW) dip transfer weld of deposited thickness

less than " approves maximum thickness of 1.1 x t only Ref: QW255

If any Pass in a single or multipass weld > " then the thickness
approval equals 1.1xT

Dissimilar Thickness QW202.4:- The thicker and thinner part must be

qualified, Except P8 and P4X the thinner part can be qualified if no Impacts
and test coupon > 6mm thick.
Thickness limits for fillet welds as per QW462.4a or QW462.4d qualify all
fillet weld sizes on all base material thicknesses and all diameters in one test.
Testing Requirements (Ref QW 463 for location of specimens)

Unlike EN288 there is no requirement for any non-destructive testing such as

radiography or MPI/DPI, although I would recommend radiography for butt
The testing requirement for groove welds are as follows:

Two Transverse tensile tests (QW150).

Two Root bends and Two face bends unless the plate thickness exceeds
3/8" then 4 side bends are required. All bend tests should be done to
QW160 using the correct former ref. QW466 to an angle of 180
degrees. Longitudinal (all weld) bend tests are not recommended unless
the base/weld materials differ markedly in bending properties. See QW
466 for exceptions and precise details.

The testing requirement for fillet welds on plate is 5 macro sections only, for
Pipe fillet welds 4 macro sections. No fracture test required.

Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS)

This document details the practical application of the Procedure Qualification
Record (PQR). It should contain enough information to give direction to the
welder and should address all variables associated with the welding process
defined in QW250 including non essential and supplementary.
A WPS can combine welding processes from other PQR's but all the relevant
variables must be addressed including parent metal thickness. There is an
exception to this rule for root runs from PQR's that are greater than 1.5 inches
thick (38.1mm), see code for details.

Standard Welding Procedures Specifications (SWP's)

Standard welding procedures listed in annex E of ASME IX can be purchased
from the 'American Welding Society' and used without qualifying a PQR.
Section V of ASME IX gives details of essential variables and restrictions. A
successful welder performance qualification must be carried out to
demonstrate the SWP's before a manufacturer can use it.

Brief Introduction

Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)

Welding Performance Qualification (WPQ)

ASME definitions for welding processes, consumables and welding


Welding Qualifications Sub Menu

Page last updated 1 September 2001


Welder Performance Qualification (WPQ)

The purpose of this test is to determine the welders ability to deposit a sound
weld therefore the base material is not considered as critical as it is in the
PQR. Hence a performance test on any material in P groups 1 to 11 approves
all those groups and sub groups, also P34 and P4X (P40-P49). Providing a
compatible consumable exists with the same F number used in the
qualification test. (QW423.1)
Note a single sided weld is classed as a weld without backing and a double
sided weld or weld with sealing run is classed as a weld with backing
The F number cannot be changed without re qualification of the welder except
that for performance qualification only using SMAW (MMA) F numbers up to
and including 4 approve all lesser F numbers for double sided or welds with
backing only. One Consumable from F41 To F45 approves any of these
consumables, except SAW. Ref. QW404.11.
Note 'A' numbers do not apply to welder approval tests.
For each welding process there is a list of essential variables in QW352 to
QW357 and QW360 for welding operators, these are not necessarily the same
as the ones for the PQR. Essential variables cannot be changed. Explanations

of all these variables is given in section IV of the code.

Diameter and Thickness Ranges
Diameter limits for all circular welds including groove welds, branch welds
and fillet welds is given in QW452.3. there are no upper limits on diameters
approved and pipe covers plate
Note for branch welds the diameter considered for the above limits is the one
containing the weld preparation.
Thickness limits, groove welds.
The thickness limit only applies to the deposited weld metal thickness not the
plate thickness and any groove weld approves all fillet weld sizes.
For t greater than 12.5mm there is no restriction on the size that can be welded
(Providing the test weld deposit contains at least 3 layers of weld).
Thickness limits, fillet welds.
A test on plate greater than 3/16" approves all base metal thicknesses and fillet
weld sizes ref. QW452.5. (Note the above diameter limits apply unless the
fillet weld is qualified by a groove weld)
Joint Configuration
Joint geometry, a double V (or U) is considered the same as a joint with
backing and does not qualify a single V (or U) without backing, but a single
full penetration joint without backing qualifies all joint configurations.
Approval Range
Extent of approval is very well explained in QW461.9. Take particular note of
welding positions which are also explained in QW461, for example to qualify
a fillet weld in the normal horizontal-vertical position with a groove weld, the
groove weld must be qualified in at least the 2G position. The welding
positions defined in QW461.1.& QW461.2 should be referred to in the WPS.
The position designations: 1G ,2G ,3G ,4G ,5G ,6G (Groove Welds) and 1F ,
2F ,3F ,4F (Fillet Welds) are test positions
Period of Validity/Renewal of Qualifications (QW 322.2)
Providing the welder uses the process for which he is qualified and there is no
reason to question his ability then his qualification lasts indefinitely.
If the welder does not use the welding process for which he is qualified for a
period of 6 months or more then he must perform a new test in pipe or plate,
any parent material, thickness and position, if successful all the welder
approvals for that welding process are renewed in one test.

Testing Requirements
Test requirements for groove welds QW452 consists of either:

One face bend and one root bend except for welding positions 5G & 6G
which require 4 bends (Ref QW452.1 Note 4). If the plate exceeds 3/8"
side bends may be used. See QW 466 for precise details and
Note:- Bend Tests can in most cases be replaced by Radiography
{See Below}.

Radiography is optional and must be supplemented by bend tests when

using GMAW (MIG/MAG) with dip transfer (Short Circuiting Arc) or
when welding some special materials. Ref. QW304.

Note:- Ultrasonic Examination in lieu of Radiography is not

Test requirements for fillet welds in plate ref. QW452.5:

One macro section (QW 184) and One fracture test (QW182).

The location where each specimen has to be taken is defined in QW463

Radiography Ref QW 191

A length of at least 6" must be examined for plate or the entire

circumference for pipe.

If the pipe circumference is less than 6" then more samples must be
welded up to a maximum of 4. Ref QW 302.2.

Visual Examination Ref QW 302.2 & QW 190

Performance test coupons must show complete joint penetration with full
fusion of the weld metal and base metal.
The welder performance test must follow a properly qualified W.P.S. Once
qualified the welder must always work within the extent of approval of any
properly qualified W.P.S. and his W.P.Q.
The welder who qualifies the P.Q.R. is automatically approved within the
limits specified in QW304, QW305 and QW303. Ref QW301.2.
Specialist Processes

Such as corrosion resistant overlay or hard facing are covered in QW 453.

Procedure variables are defined with all procedure variables in QW252 and in
QW380 for welder approval.
Min base thickness approved = size welded or 1", QW 453
Min Deposit Size Approved:- Point Where Chemical analysis taken No upper
limit QW402.16 (462.5a) Welding Positions QW405.4 Performance
Qualification approves all deposit thickness No min.QW381

Brief Introduction

Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)

Welding Performance Qualification (WPQ)

ASME definitions for welding processes, consumables and welding


Welding Qualifications Sub Menu

Page last updated 01 September 2001

ASME Definitions, Consumables, Welding

ASME P Material Numbers Explained

ASME has adopted their own designation for welding processes, which are
very different from the ISO definitions adopted by EN24063.
Oxyfuel Gas Welding
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (MMA)
Submerged Arc Welding
Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG/MAG)

Welding Positions For Groove welds:Welding Position

Vertical Upwards Progression
Vertical Downwards Progression
Pipe Fixed Horizontal
Pipe Fixed @ 45 degrees Upwards
Pipe Fixed @ 45 degrees Downwards

Test Position

ISO and EN

Test Position

ISO and EN

Welding Positions For Fillet welds:Welding Position

Flat (Weld flat joint at 45 degrees)
Horizontal Rotated
Vertical Upwards Progression
Vertical Downwards Progression
Pipe Fixed Horizontal

Welding Positions QW431.1 and QW461.2

Basically there are three inclinations involved.

Flat, which includes from 0 to 15 degrees inclination

15 - 80 degrees inclination

Vertical, 80 - 90 degrees

For each of these inclinations the weld can be rotated from the flat position to
Horizontal to overhead.

Brief Introduction

Procedure Qualification Record (PQR)

Welding Performance Qualification (WPQ)

ASME definitions for welding processes, consumables and welding


Welding Qualifications Sub Menu

Page last updated 19 March 2001


ASME P Material Numbers

This is a general guide ASME P numbers and their equivalent EN288
groupings. Groups referred to in the Base Metal column are ASME sub
groups. EN288 material groups are included for comparison only.
P No.







9A, B, C
10 H
11A Group 1
11 A Groups


Base Metal
Carbon Manganese Steels, 4 Sub Groups

Group 1 up to approx 65 ksi

Group 2 Approx 70ksi

Group 3 Approx 80ksi

Group 4 ?

Not Used
3 Sub Groups:- Typically half moly and half chrome half moly
2 Sub Groups:- Typically one and a quarter chrome half moly
Typically two and a quarter chrome one moly
2 Sub Groups:- Typically five chrome half moly and nine
chrome one moly
5 Sub Groups:- Chrome moly vanadium
6 Sub Groups:- Martensitic Stainless Steels Typically Grade 410
Ferritic Stainless Steels Typically Grade 409
Austenitic Stainless Steels, 4 Sub groups

Group1 Typically Grades 304, 316, 347

Group 2 Typically Grades 309, 310

Group 3 High manganese grades

Group 4 Typically 254 SMO type steels

Typically two to four percent Nickel Steels

Mixed bag of low alloy steels, 10G 36 Nickel Steel
Duplex and Super Duplex Grades 31803, 32750
Typically 26 Chrome one moly
9 Nickel Steels
Mixed bag of high strength low alloy steels.


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are required when determining the minimum preheat level. Additions of

niobium also require special consideration.

For welds subject to high restraint more preheat is advisable (suggest, Incr
CE by 0.3 or go down one hydrogen scale).


EN1011 Part 2 (English version available from British Standards)

This standard is highly recommended as it gives details on this preheat me
and also includes methods covering fine grain and creep resisting steels. It
includes practical guidance on the avoidance of other cracking mechanism
Much of the data contained in this standard comes from TWI
tempered by practical experience from industry. (It replaces BS5135)

Welding Steels Without Hydrogen Cracking.

This book is based on the original research work carried out by TWI.
covers the avoidance of hydrogen cracking and preheat in great detail.
preheat graphs tend to require a higher preheat than the equivalent ones in

The Welding of Structural Steels Without Preheat The Welding Journ

April 2000
A very informative article covering recent TWI research into welding low
hardenability steels without preheat. The article won the Lincoln
foundation gold award.

Preheat calculator
Lincoln arc welding foundation
A simple to use and inexpensive calculator. It is based on practical experi
and tends to be very conservative when compared with the TWI method.

Got To The Pre-Heat Calculator

More information on Preheat from the Lincoln Arc Foundation

[Home] [Failure] [Calculations] [WP's] [PED] [Fatigue] [Fracture] [Preheat] [Metallurgy] [S
ymbols] [FE] [Link s]

Last Modified 15 July 2001


Pre-heat Calculator
Pre-Heat Calculator to EN1011 Part 2 - Non Alloyed And Low Alloy Steels.
Information on how to use this page
Heat Input

Enter Arc Energy KJ/mm

Select Welding

Heat Input
KJ/mm =

not for data input.

Enter Carbon

Note, this box is

Hydrogen Scale
Select Hydrogen


Note Thickness
Enter Combined
Thickness mm

must be 2 x T for a butt


Calculate PreHeat

Min Pre-Heat

Page last updated 13 April 2002


Carbon Steel
? European Steel numbering and steel designations explained

Carbon Steel (AvestaPolarit), This site contains information on stainless steel

grades, welding stainless steel + online corrosion Tables

Residual Stresspdf file containing stainless steel grades and specifications

Steel Grades - Wall Chart- European
Steel Grades - Wall Chart- North American

Strain Age Embrittlement

? STAINLESS STEELS: Their properties and their suitability for welding. pdf file
for thePWHT
pickling and cleaning of stainless steel. pdf file
How to Avoid
? Handbook

? Key to Metals is a comprehensive steel properties database, also contains free useful
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Stainless Steel
Austenitic Stainless Steels
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Carbon Steel To Austenitic

Page last updated 6 October 2004


More articles to follow soon!

The Metallurgy Of Carbon Steel

The best way to understand the metallurgy of carbon steel is to study the
Iron Carbon Diagram. The diagram shown below is based on the
transformation that occurs as a result of slow heating. Slow cooling will
reduce the transformation temperatures; for example: the A1 point would
be reduced from 723C to 690 C. However the fast heating and cooling
rates encountered in welding will have a significant influence on these
temperatures, making the accurate prediction of weld metallurgy using this
diagram difficult.

Austenite This phase is only possible in carbon steel at high

temperature. It has a Face Centre Cubic (F.C.C) atomic structure
which can contain up to 2% carbon in solution.

Ferrite This phase has a Body Centre Cubic structure (B.C.C)

which can hold very little carbon; typically 0.0001% at room
temperature. It can exist as either: alpha or delta ferrite.

Carbon A very small interstitial atom that tends to fit into clusters
of iron atoms. It strengthens steel and gives it the ability to harden
by heat treatment. It also causes major problems for welding ,

particularly if it exceeds 0.25% as it creates a hard microstructure

that is susceptible to hydrogen cracking. Carbon forms compounds
with other elements called carbides. Iron Carbide, Chrome Carbide

Cementite Unlike ferrite and austenite, cementite is a very hard

intermetallic compound consisting of 6.7% carbon and the
remainder iron, its chemical symbol is Fe3C. Cementite is very
hard, but when mixed with soft ferrite layers its average hardness is
reduced considerably. Slow cooling gives course perlite; soft easy
to machine but poor toughness. Faster cooling gives very fine
layers of ferrite and cementite; harder and tougher

Pearlite A mixture of alternate strips

of ferrite and cementite in a single
grain. The distance between the plates
and their thickness is dependant on the
cooling rate of the material; fast
cooling creates thin plates that are
close together and slow cooling
creates a much coarser structure
possessing less toughness. The name
for this structure is derived from its
mother of pearl appearance under a
microscope. A fully pearlitic structure
occurs at 0.8% Carbon. Further
increases in carbon will create
cementite at the grain boundaries,
which will start to weaken the steel.

Cooling of a steel below 0.8% carbon When a steel solidifies it

forms austenite. When the temperature falls below the A3 point,
grains of ferrite start to form. As more grains of ferrite start to form
the remaining austenite becomes richer in carbon. At about 723C
the remaining austenite, which now contains 0.8% carbon, changes
to pearlite. The resulting structure is a mixture consisting of white
grains of ferrite mixed with darker grains of pearlite. Heating is
basically the same thing in reverse.

Martensite If steel is cooled rapidly from austenite, the F.C.C

structure rapidly changes to B.C.C leaving insufficient time for the
carbon to form pearlite. This results in a distorted structure that has
the appearance of fine needles. There is no partial transformation
associated with martensite, it either forms or it doesnt. However,
only the parts of a section that cool fast enough will form
martensite; in a thick section it will only form to a certain depth,
and if the shape is complex it may only form in small pockets. The
hardness of martensite is solely dependant on carbon content, it is
normally very high, unless the carbon content is exceptionally low.

Tempering The carbon trapped in the martensite transformation

can be released by heating the steel below the A1 transformation

temperature. This release of carbon from nucleated areas allows the

structure to deform plastically and relive some of its internal
stresses. This reduces hardness and increases toughness, but it also
tends to reduce tensile strength. The degree of tempering is
dependant on temperature and time; temperature having the greatest

Annealing This term is often used to define a heat treatment

process that produces some softening of the structure. True
annealing involves heating the steel to austenite and holding for
some time to create a stable structure. The steel is then cooled very
slowly to room temperature. This produces a very soft structure,
but also creates very large grains, which are seldom desirable
because of poor toughness.

Normalising Returns the structure back to normal. The steel is

heated until it just starts to form austenite; it is then cooled in air.
This moderately rapid transformation creates relatively fine grains
with uniform pearlite.

Welding If the temperature profile for a typical weld is plotted

against the carbon equilibrium diagram, a wide variety of
transformation and heat treatments will be observed.

Note, the carbon equilibrium diagram shown above is only for illustration,
in reality it will be heavily distorted because of the rapid heating and
cooling rates involved in the welding process.

a) Mixture of ferrite and pearlite grains; temperature below A1,

therefore microstructure not significantly affected.
b) Pearlite transformed to Austenite, but not sufficient temperature
available to exceed the A3 line, therefore not all ferrite grains
transform to Austenite. On cooling, only the transformed
grains will be normalised.
c) Temperature just exceeds A3 line, full Austenite
transformation. On cooling all grains will be normalised
d) Temperature significantly exceeds A3 line permitting grains to
grow. On cooling, ferrite will form at the grain boundaries, and
a course pearlite will form inside the grains. A course grain
structure is more readily hardened than a finer one, therefore if
the cooling rate between 800C to 500C is rapid, a hard
microstructure will be formed. This is why a brittle fracture is
most likely to propagate in this region.

Welds The metallurgy of a weld is very

different from the parent material. Welding
filler metals are designed to create strong
and tough welds, they contain fine oxide
particles that permit the nucleation of fine
grains. When a weld solidifies, its grains
grow from the course HAZ grain structure,
further refinement takes place within these
course grains creating the typical acicular
ferrite formation shown opposite.

Recommended Reading

Metals and How To Weld Them :- Lincoln Arc Foundation

A very cheap hard backed book covering all the basic essentials of
welding metallurgy.
Welding Metallurgy Training Modules:- (Devised by The
Welding Institute of Canada) Published in the UK by Abington
Publishing. Not cheap but the information is clearly represented in
a very readable format.

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Page last updated 08 May 2002

Residual Stress

Magnitude Of Stresses- A Simple Analogy

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Page last updated 08 May 2002

Strain Age Embrittlement

This phenomenon applies to carbon and low alloy steel. It involves ferrite
forming a compound with nitrogen; iron-nitride (Fe4N). Temperatures around
250C, will cause a fine precipitation of this compound to occur. It will tend to
pin any dislocations in the structure that have been created by cold work or
plastic deformation.
Strain ageing increases tensile strength but significantly reduces ductility and
Modern steels tend to have low nitrogen content, but this is not necessarily true
for welds. Sufficient Nitrogen, approximately 1 to 2 ppm, can be easily picked
up from the atmosphere during welding.
Weld root runs are particularly at risk because of high contraction stresses
causing plastic deformation. This is why impact test specimens taken from the
root or first pass of a weld can give poor results.
Additions of Aluminium can tie up the Nitrogen as Aluminium Nitride, but weldcooling rates are too fast for this compound to form successfully. Stress relief at
around 650 degrees C will resolve the problem.

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Page last updated 08 May 2002



The above picture is of a new pressure vessel that failed during its
hydraulic test. The vessel had been stress relieved, but some parts of it
did not reach the required temperature and consequently did not
experience adequate tempering. This coupled with a small hydrogen
crack, was sufficient to cause catastrophic failure under test conditions. It
is therefore important when considering PWHT or its avoidance, to
ensure that all possible failure modes and their consequences are carefully
considered before any action is taken.
The post weld heat treatment of welded steel fabrications is normally
carried out to reduce the risk of brittle fracture by:

Reducing residual Stresses. These stresses are created when a

weld cools and its contraction is restricted by the bulk of the
material surrounding it. Weld distortion occurs when these
stresses exceed the yield point. Finite element modelling of
residual stresses is now possible, so that the complete welding
sequence of a joint or repair can be modelled to predict and
minimise these stresses.

Tempering the weld and HAZ microstructure. The microstructure,

particularly in the HAZ, can be hardened by rapid cooling of the
weld. This is a major problem for low and medium alloy steels

containing chrome and any other constituent that slow the

austenite/ferrite transformation down, as this will result in
hardening of the micro structure, even at slow cooling rates.
The risk of brittle fracture can be assessed by fracture mechanics.
Assuming worst-case scenarios for all the relevant variables. It is then
possible to predict if PWHT is required to make the fabrication safe.
However, the analysis requires accurate measurement of HAZ toughness,
which is not easy because of the HAZs small size and varying
properties. Some approximation is possible from impact tests, providing
the notch is taken from the point of lowest toughness.
If PWHT is to be avoided, stress concentration effects such as: - backing
bars, partial penetration welds, and internal defects in the weld and poor
surface profile, should be avoided. Good surface and volumetric NDT is
essential. Preheat may still be required to avoid hydrogen cracking and a
post weld hydrogen release may also be beneficial in this respect (holding
the fabrication at a temperature of around 250C for at least 2 hours,
immediately after welding).
Nickel based consumables can often reduce or remove the need for
preheat, but their effect on the parent metal HAZ will be no different from
that created by any other consumable, except that the HAZ may be
slightly narrower. However, nickel based welds, like most austenitic
steels, can make ultrasonic inspection very difficult.
Further reduction in the risk of brittle fracture can be achieved by refining
the HAZ microstructure using special temper bead welding techniques.

Further Information On: -

Temper Bead Welding Technique

Fracture Mechanics (Link temporarily Disabled)
Residual Stresses
Metallurgy of Steel
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Page last updated 10 June 2002

Alloying Elements
Increases strength and hardness; forms a carbide; increases hardenability; lowers
the transformation temperature range. When in sufficient quantity produces an
austenitic steel; always present in a steel to some extent because it is used as a
Strengthens ferrite and raises the transformation temperature temperatures; has a
strong graphitising tendency. Always present to some extent, because it is used
with manganese as a deoxidiser
Increases strength and hardness; forms hard and stable carbides. It raises the
transformation temperature significantly when its content exceeds 12%.
Increases hardenability; amounts in excess of 12%, render steel stainless. Good
creep strength at high temperature.
Strengthens steel; lowers its transformation temperature range; increases
hardenability, and improves resistance to fatigue. Strong graphite forming
tendency; stabilizes austenite when in sufficient quantity. Creates fine grains and
gives good toughness.
Nickel And Chromium
Used together for austenitic stainless steels; each element counteracts
disadvantages of the other.
Forms hard and stable carbides; raises the transformation temperature range, and
tempering temperatures. Hardened tungsten steels resist tempering up to 6000C
Strong carbide forming element, and also improves high temperature creep
resistance; reduces temper-brittleness in Ni-Cr steels. Improves corrosion
resistance and temper brittleness.
Strong carbide forming element; has a scavenging action and produces clean,
inclusion free steels. Can cause re-heat cracking when added to chrome molly
Strong carbide forming element. Not used on its own, but added as a carbide

stabiliser to some austenitic stainless steels.

Increases strength and hardnability, reduces ductility and toughness. Increases
machineability and corrosion resistance
Reduces toughness and strength and also weldabilty.
Sulphur inclusions, which are normally present, are taken into solution near the
fusion temperature of the weld. On cooling sulphides and remaining sulphur
precipitate out and tend to segregate to the grain boundaries as liquid films, thus
weakening them considerably. Such steel is referred to as burned. Manganese
breaks up these films into globules of maganese sulphide; maganese to sulphur
ratio > 20:1, higher carbon and/or high heat input during welding > 30:1, to
reduce extent of burning.

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Page last updated 02 June 2002

Austenitic stainless steels

Austenitic stainless steels have high ductility, low yield stress and
relatively high ultimate tensile strength, when compare to a typical carbon
A carbon steel on cooling transforms from Austenite to a mixture of ferrite
and cementite. With austenitic stainless steel, the high chrome and nickel
content suppress this transformation keeping the material fully austenite
on cooling (The Nickel maintains the austenite phase on cooling and the
Chrome slows the transformation down so that a fully austenitic structure
can be achieved with only 8% Nickel).
Heat treatment and the thermal cycle caused by welding, have little
influence on mechanical properties. However strength and hardness can
be increased by cold working, which will also reduce ductility. A full
solution anneal (heating to around 1045C followed by quenching or rapid
cooling) will restore the material to its original condition, removing alloy
segregation, sensitisation, sigma phase and restoring ductility after cold
working. Unfortunately the rapid cooling will re-introduce residual
stresses, which could be as high as the yield point. Distortion can also

occur if the object is not properly supported during the annealing process.
Austenitic steels are not susceptible to hydrogen cracking, therefore preheating is seldom required, except to reduce the risk of shrinkage stresses
in thick sections. Post weld heat treatment is seldom required as this
material as a high resistance to brittle fracture; occasionally stress relief is
carried out to reduce the risk of stress corrosion cracking, however this is
likely to cause sensitisation unless a stabilised grade is used (limited
stress relief can be achieved with a low temperature of around 450C ).
Austenitic steels have a F.C.C atomic structure which provides more
planes for the flow of dislocations, combined with the low level of
interstitial elements (elements that lock the dislocation chain), gives this
material its good ductility. This also explains why this material has no
clearly defined yield point, which is why its yield stress is always
expressed as a proof stress. Austenitic steels have excellent toughness
down to true absolute (-273C), with no steep ductile to brittle transition.
This material has good corrosion resistance, but quite severe corrosion can
occur in certain environments. The right choice of welding consumable
and welding technique can be crucial as the weld metal can corrode more
than the parent material.
Probably the biggest cause of failure in pressure plant made of stainless
steel is stress corrosion cracking (S.C.C). This type of corrosion forms
deep cracks in the material and is caused by the presence of chlorides in
the process fluid or heating water/steam (Good water treatment is essential
), at a temperature above 50C, when the material is subjected to a tensile
stress (this stress includes residual stress, which could be up to yield point
in magnitude). Significant increases in Nickel and also Molybdenum will
reduce the risk.
Stainless steel has a very thin and stable oxide film rich in chrome. This
film reforms rapidly by reaction with the atmosphere if damaged. If
stainless steel is not adequately protected from the atmosphere during
welding or is subject to very heavy grinding operations, a very thick oxide
layer will form. This thick oxide layer, distinguished by its blue tint, will
have a chrome depleted layer under it, which will impair corrosion
resistance. Both the oxide film and depleted layer must be removed,
either mechanically (grinding with a fine grit is recommended, wire
brushing and shot blasting will have less effect), or chemically (acid
pickle with a mixture of nitric and hydrofluoric acid). Once cleaned, the
surface can be chemically passivated to enhance corrosion resistance,
(passivation reduces the anodic reaction involved in the corrosion
Carbon steel tools, also supports or even sparks from grinding carbon
steel, can embed fragments into the surface of the stainless steel. These
fragments can then rust if moistened. Therefore it is recommended that

stainless steel fabrication be carried out in a separate designated area and

special stainless steel tools used where possible.
If any part of stainless-steel is heated in the range 500 degrees to 800
degrees for any reasonable time there is a risk that the chrome will form
chrome carbides (a compound formed with carbon) with any carbon
present in the steel. This reduces the chrome available to provide the
passive film and leads to preferential corrosion, which can be severe. This
is often referred to as sensitisation. Therefore it is advisable when
welding stainless steel to use low heat input and restrict the maximum
interpass temperature to around 175, although sensitisation of modern
low carbon grades is unlikely unless heated for prolonged periods. Small
quantities of either titanium (321) or niobium (347) added to stabilise the
material will inhibit the formation of chrome carbides.

To resist oxidation and creep high carbon grades such as 304H or 316H
are often used. Their improved creep resistance relates to the presence of
carbides and the slightly coarser grain size associated with higher
annealing temperatures. Because the higher carbon content inevitably
leads to sensitisation, there may be a risk of corrosion during plant shut
downs, for this reason stabilised grades may be preferred such as 347H.
The solidification strength of austenitic stainless steel can be seriously
impaired by small additions of impurities such as sulphur and
phosphorous, this coupled with the materials high coefficient of expansion
can cause serious solidification cracking problems. Most 304 type alloys
are designed to solidify initially as delta ferrite, which has a high
solubility for sulphur, transforming to austenite upon further cooling. This
creates an austenitic material containing tiny patches of residual delta

ferrite, therefore not a true austenitic in the strict sense of the word. Filler
metal often contains further additions of delta ferrite to ensure crack free
The delta ferrite can transform to a very brittle phase called sigma, if
heated above 550C for very prolonged periods (Could take several
thousand hours, depending on chrome level. A duplex stainless steel can
form sigma phase after only a few minutes at this temperature)
The very high coefficient of expansion associated with this material means
that welding distortion can be quite savage. I have seen thick ring flanges
on pressure vessel twist after welding to such an extent that a fluid seal is
impossible. Thermal stress is another major problem associated with
stainless steel; premature failure can occur on pressure plant heated by a
jacket or coils attached to a cold veesel. This material has poor thermal
conductivity, therefore lower welding current is required (typically 25%
less than carbon steel) and narrower joint preparations can be tolerated.
All common welding processes can be used successfully, however high
deposition rates associated with SAW could cause solidification cracking
and possibly sensitisation, unless adequate precautions are taken.
To ensure good corrosion resistance of the weld root it must be protected
from the atmosphere by an inert gas shield during welding and subsequent
cooling. The gas shield should be contained around the root of the weld
by a suitable dam, which must permit a continuous gas flow through the
area. Welding should not commence until sufficient time has elapsed to
allow the volume of purging gas flowing through the dam to equal at least
the 6 times the volume contained in the dam (EN1011 Part 3 Recommends
10). Once purging is complete the purge flow rate should be reduced so
that it only exerts a small positive pressure, sufficient to exclude air. If
good corrosion resistance of the root is required the oxygen level in the
dam should not exceed 0.1%(1000 ppm); for extreme corrosion resistance
this should be reduced to 0.015% (150 ppm). Backing gasses are typically
argon or helium; Nitrogen Is often used as an economic alternative where
corrosion resistance is not critical, Nitrogrn + 10% Helium is better. A
wide variety of proprietary pastes and backing materials are available than
can be use to protect the root instead of a gas shield. In some applications
where corrosion and oxide coking of the weld root is not important, such
as large stainless steel ducting, no gas backing is used.
A pdf guide to weld purging
Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Limited
Carbon content:
304 L grade Low Carbon, typically 0.03% Max
304 grade Medium Carbon, typically 0.08% Max
304H grade High Carbon, typically Up to 0.1%
The higher the carbon content the greater the yield strength. (Hence the

stength advantage in using stabilised grades)

Typical Alloy Content
316 Ti

(18-20Cr, 8-12Ni)
(16-18Cr, 10-14Ni + 2-3Mo)
(316 with Titanium Added)
(Same as 316Ti)
(17-19Cr, 9-12Ni + Titanium)
(17-19Cr, 9-13Ni + Niobium)
(19-22Cr, 9-11Ni)
(22-24Cr, 12-15Ni)

304 + Molybdenum
304 + Moly + Titanium
304 + Titanium
304 + Niobium
304 + Extra 2%Cr
304 + Extra 4%Cr + 4% Ni

All the above stainless steel grades are basic variations of a 304. All are
readily weldable and all have matching consumables, except for a 304
which is welded with a 308 or 316, 321 is welded with a 347 (Titanium is
not easily transferred across the arc) and a 316Ti is normally welded with
a 318.
Molybdenum has the same effect on the microstructure as chrome, except
that it gives better resistance to pitting corrosion. Therefore a 316 needs
less chrome than a 304.



(24-26Cr,19-22Ni) True Austenitic. This material does not

transform to ferrite on cooling and therefore
does not contain delta ferrite. It will not
suffer sigma phase embrittlement but can be
tricky to weld.
(20Cr,25Ni,4.5Mo) Super Austenitic Or Nickel alloy. Superior
corrosion resistance providing they are
welded carefully with low heat input (less
than 1 kJ/mm recommended) and fast travel
speeds with no weaving. Each run of weld
should not be started until the metal
temperature falls below 100C. It is
unlikely that a uniform distribution of alloy
will be achieved throughout the weld
(segregation), therefore this material should
either be welded with an over-alloyed
consumable such as a 625 or solution
annealed after welding, if maximum
corrosion resistance is required.

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Carbon Steel To Austenitic Steel

When a weld is made using a filler wire or consumable, there is a mixture
in the weld consisting of approximately 20% parent metal and 80% filler
metal alloy ( percentage depends on welding process, type of joint and
welding parameters).
Any reduction in alloy content of 304 / 316 type austenitics is likely to
cause the formation of matensite on cooling. This could lead to cracking
problems and poor ductility. To avoid this problem an overalloyed filler
metal is used, such as a 309, which should still form austenite on cooling
providing dilution is not excessive.
The Shaeffler diagram can be used to determine the type of microstructure
that can be expected when a filler metal and parent metal of differing
compositions are mixed together in a weld.
The Shaeffler Diagram

The Nickel and other elements that form Austenite, are plotted against
Chrome and other elements that form ferrite, using the following
formula:Nickel Equivalent = %Ni + 30%C + 0.5%Mn

Chrome Equivalent = %Cr + Mo + 1.5%Si + 0.5%Nb

Example, a typical 304L = 18.2%Cr, 10.1%Ni, 1.2%Mn, 0.4%Si, 0.02%C
Ni Equiv = 10.1 + 30 x 0.02 + 0.5 x 1.2 = 11.3
Cr Equiv = 18.2 + 0 + 1.5 x 0.4 + 0 = 18.8
A typical 309L welding consumable Ni Equiv = 14.35, Cr Equiv = 24.9
The main disadvantage with this diagram is that it does not represent
Nitrogen, which is a very strong Austenite former.
Ferrite Number
The ferrite number uses magnetic attraction as a means of measuring the
proportion of delta ferrite present. The ferrite number is plotted on a
modified Shaeffler diagram, the Delong Diagram. The Chrome and Nickel
equivalent is the same as that used for the Shaeffler diagram, except that
the Nickel equivalent includes the addition of 30 times the Nitrogen


The Shaeffler diagram above illustrates a carbon steel C.S , welded with
304L filler. Point A represents the anticipated composition of the weld
metal, if it consists of a mixture of filler metal and 25% parent metal. This
diluted weld, according to the diagram, will contain martensite. This
problem can be overcome if a higher alloyed filler is used, such as a 309L,
which has a higher nickel and chrome equivalent that will tend to pull
point A into the austenite region.
If the welds molten pool spans two different metals the process becomes
more complicated. First plot both parent metals on the shaeffler diagram
and connect them with a line. If both parent metals are diluted by the
same amount, plot a false point B on the diagram midway between them.
(Point B represents the microstructure of the weld if no filler metal was

Next, plot the consumable on the diagram, which for this example is a
309L. Draw a line from this point to false point B and mark a point A
along its length equivalent to the total weld dilution. This point will give
the approximate microstructure of the weld metal. The diagram below
illustrates 25% total weld dilution at point A, which predicts a good
microstructure of Austenite with a little ferrite.

The presence of martensite can be detected by subjecting a macro section

to a hardness survey, high hardness levels indicate martensite.
Alternatively the weld can be subjected to a bend test ( a side bend is
required by the ASME code for corrosion resistant overlays), any

martensite present will tend to cause the test piece to break rather than
However the presence of martensite is unlikely to cause hydrogen
cracking, as any hydrogen evolved during the welding process will be
absorbed by the austenitic filler metal.

Evaluating Dilution

Causes Of High Dilution

High Travel Speed. Too much heat applied to parent metal instead
of on filler metal.

High welding Current. High current welding processes, such as

Submerged Arc Welding can cause high dilution.

Thin Material. Thin sheet TIG welded can give rise to high
dilution levels.

Joint Preparation. Square preps generate very high dilution. This

can be reduced by carefully buttering the joint face with high alloy
filler metal.
Large Schaeffler/Delong Diagram (
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Last Modified 19 Jan 2004

Duplex stainless steels

Typically twice the yield of austenitic stainless steels. Minimum Specified
UTS typically 680 to 750N/mm2 (98.6 to 108ksi). Elongation typically >
Superior corrosion resistance than a 316. Good Resistance to stress
corrosion cracking in a chloride environment.
Duplex materials have improved over the last decade; further additions of
Nitrogen have been made improving weldability.
Because of the complex nature of this material it is important that it is
sourced from good quality steel mills and is properly solution annealed.
Castings and possibly thick sections may not cool fast when annealed
causing sigma and other deleterious phases to form.
The material work hardens if cold formed; even the strain produced from
welding can work harden the material particularly in multi pass welding.
Therefore a full solution anneal is advantageous, particularly if low
service temperatures are foreseen.
The high strength of this material can make joint fit up difficult.
Usable temperature range restricted to, -50 to 280C
Used in Oil & Natural Gas production, chemical plants etc.

Standard Duplex
S31803 22Cr 5Ni 2.8Mo 0.15N PREn = 32-33
Super Duplex: Stronger and more corrosion resistant than standard
S32760(Zeron 100) 25Cr 7.5Ni 3.5Mo 0.23N PREn = 40

Micro Of Standard Duplex

Dark Areas:- Ferrite
Light Areas:- Austenite

Duplex solidifies initially as ferrite, then transforms on further cooling to a

matrix of ferrite and austenite. In modern raw material the balance should
be 50/50 for optimum corrosion resistance, particularly resistance to stress
corrosion cracking. However the materials strength is not significantly
effected by the ferrite / austenite phase balance.

The main problem with Duplex is that it very easily forms brittle
intermetalic phases, such as Sigma, Chi and Alpha Prime. These phases
can form rapidly, typically 100 seconds at 900C. However shorter
exposure has been known to cause a drop in toughness, this has been
attribute to the formation of sigma on a microscopic scale.

Prolonged heating in the range 350 to 550C can cause 475C temper
For this reason the maximum recommended service temperature for
duplex is about 280C.
Sigma (55Fe 45Cr) can be a major problem when welding thin walled
small bore pipe made of super duplex, although it can occur in thicker
sections. It tends to be found in the bulk of the material rather than at the
surface, therefore it probably has more effect on toughness than corrosion
resistance. Sigma can also occur in thick sections, such as castings that
have not been properly solution annealed (Not cooled fast enough).
However most standards accept that deleterious phases, such as sigma, chi
and laves, may be tolerated if the strength and corrosion resistance are
Nitrogen is a strong austenite former and largely responsible for the
balance between ferrite and austenite phases and the materials superior
corrosion resistance. Nitrogen cant be added to filler metal, as it does not
transfer across the arc. It can also be lost from molten parent metal during
welding. Its loss can lead to high ferrite and reduced corrosion resistance.
Nitrogen can be added to the shielding gas and backing gas, Up to about
10%; however this makes welding difficult as it can cause porosity and
contamination of the Tungsten electrode unless the correct welding
technique is used. Too much Nitrogen will form a layer of Austenite on
the weld surface. In my experience most duplex and super duplex are TIG
welded using pure argon.
Backing / purge gas should contain less than 25ppm Oxygen for optimum
corrosion resistance.
Fast cooling from molten will promote the formation of ferrite, slow
cooling will promote austenite. During welding fast cooling is most likely,
therefore welding consumables usually contain up to 2 - 4% extra Nickel
to promote austenite formation in the weld. Duplex should never be
welded without filler metal, as this will promote excessive ferrite, unless
the welded component is solution annealed. Acceptable phase balance is
usually 30 70% Ferrite
Duplex welding consumables are suitable for joining duplex to austenitic
stainless steel or carbon steel; they can also be used for corrosion resistant
overlays. Nickel based welding consumables can be used but the weld
strength will not be as good as the parent metal, particularly on super

Low levels of austenite: - Poor toughness and general corrosion


High levels of austenite: - Some Reduction in strength and reduced

resistance to stress corrosion cracking.

Good impact test results are a good indication that the material has been
successfully welded. The parent metal usually exceeds 200J. The ductile
to brittle transition temperature is about 50C. The transition is not as
steep as that of carbon steel and depends on the welding process used.
Flux protected processes, such as MMA; tend to have a steeper transition
curve and lower toughness. Multi run welds tend to promote austenite and
thus exhibit higher toughness
Tight controls and the use of arc monitors are recommended during
welding and automatic or mechanised welding is preferred. Repair
welding can seriously affect corrosion resistance and toughness; therefore
any repairs should follow specially developed procedures. See BS4515
Part 2 for details.
Production control test plates are recommended for all critical poduction
Welding procedures should be supplemented by additional tests,
depending on the application and the requirements of any application

A ferrite count using a Ferro scope is probably the most popular.

For best accuracy the ferrite count should be performed manually
and include a check for deleterious phases.

Good impact test results are also a good indication of a successful

welding procedure and are mandatory in BS4515 Part 2.

A corrosion test, such as the G48 test, is highly recommended. The

test may not model the exact service corrosion environment, but
gives a good qualative assessment of the welds general corrosion
resistance; this gives a good indication that the welding method is
satisfactory. G48 test temperature for standard duplex is typically
22C, for super duplex 35C

Typical Welding Procedure For Zeron 100 (Super Duplex)

Pipe 60mm Od x 4mm Thick
Maximum Interpass 100C
1.6mm Filler Wire

Position 6G
Temperature at the end of welding < 250C

85 amps 2 weld runs (Root and Cap)

Arc energy 1 to 1,5 KJ/mm

Travel speed 0.75 to 1 mm/sec

Recommended Testing
1. Ferric Chloride Pitting Test To ASTM G48 : Method A
2. Chemical analysis of root
3. Ferrite count

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Last Modified 19 March 2002

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